Fantastic investment - incredible lifestyle

Ross and Vanessa Nicholls have owned a syndication share in Lagoon 39 Imagination through Yachtshare, Queensland’s largest provider of syndicated yachts, for over a year. We talked to Ross about having a share in this beautiful boat and got the low-down on the boat sharing scene.

Freedom to explore

“We just got back from 5 days in the Whitsundays. It was great sailing weather but we spent a few hours on the engines as there are so many amazing islands up there. After we anchored, we went snorkelling, and then walking on Whitehaven Beach and climbing the peaks. Our kids are grown up now so it’s nice to spend time with them on the boat.”

The Nicholls’ boat is based in Manly at the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron. Ross and Vanessa check out the local weather beforehand and then come up with options for their sail.

“Moreton Bay is great, it doesn’t have as many options as the Whitsundays, but it all depends on the weather. Tangalooma is a 3-4 hour sail from Manly, so we head there; and it’s 3 hours to the Bay Islands where there are a number of places to anchor. It’s a fair range to use the boat – lots of open expanses and then some shallows. We go where we get a good sail and sound anchorage overnight, usually staying out 3 nights in a row.”

Boat sharing made simple

“Being part of a syndicate works well,” explains Ross. “I do shift work and I have my roster 2 years in advance, so I know when I’m off work. And Vanessa is a medical typist. She’s recently been asked to work from home so that’s freed up some space in the calendar. We can be more flexible, and have more freedom to see what days we can use and plan ahead. We will look at the next trimester, check our commitments, and book the boat for certain blocks. It’s good to be prompt and organised when the calendar opens up. We book the boat around work, and we take advantage of getting access mid-week.

We have owned boats before, and owned a half share on our previous boat. But work commitments weren’t letting us get out often enough. We’ve changed our outlook now – we never go a quarter without using our time on the boat.”

It's all in the detail

“An advantage with Yachtshare is that booking arrangements are all online. At a glance you can see your dates and your allocation… grab a standby day the day before… go out and have lunch and a sail. You can also bid for a particular day, and having access to additional days gives you more usage.

With the service from Yachtshare, the boat is always filled with water and cleaned when you walk on. It’s always ready to roll, we just put the cushions out and we’re gone in 20 minutes. On the way back, the boat is secured on the side, and we’re off in 30 minutes. Even if you’re time poor you don’t have any excuses that it takes too long to clean!

Anton and Barry at Yachtshare are very approachable, they always pick up the phone. It’s the little things… they’re very amenable and flexible, it’s all made so simple.”

A credit to Lagoon

“It can be a concern sharing your boat with others. This boat gets used a lot, and wear and tear happens. Being a boating person you have to respect the boat and look after it – so it’s great to have like minded people in our syndicate. Generally the boat looks pretty good as people do look after it… it’s a credit to the boat.

We’ve always loved catamarans – and there’s nothing not to like about Lagoons! They’re very stable. Every conceivable thing you could want is on the boat. We’ve even added solar panels. The size is great for sailing 2 handed. It’s very comfortable for sailing, mooring, and docking. The volume inside is perfect for a family and there’s great usability of space inside and out. The volume of the hulls means you’re not turning side on to get through, and on the owner’s side there’s a huge bed, and the separate head and shower is fantastic. The ergonomics are great. And there is more than enough storage.

You can change the sail for increased speed, and it does pretty well in average conditions. And it comfortably accommodates 6 people for 3 or 4 days. I don’t have any negatives or improvements! If it was an option, we’d buy it!”

An incredible lifestyle investment

“In the future, getting more access will be important to us, as we love being out on the water. We would like to do longer trips… up north for example… but for now, generally around here it works well. We would maybe look at a 6 share arrangement to give us more access. From a syndicate perspective, if you could only do weekends it would be limiting… but if you’re flexible it works really well.

It has invigorated our desire to be sailing more. The initial outlay for the share, plus the monthly fee; it’s not a huge amount of capital. If I was going to purchase a unit for the family I couldn’t buy it for $55,000. For a boating person, this is reasonably well priced and is a fantastic investment for an incredible lifestyle.”

Read more about boat sharing and syndication.